Movement for Two-Thirds Majority for New Taxes Goes Local

Mike FaganAs most of you know, years ago Tim Eyman launched an successful initiative effort to require a two-thirds majority in the Washington State Legislature for the passage of new taxes.  The two-thirds majority movement has gone local.  

The Spokane City Council recently voted in favor of placing Prop 1 for two-thirds rule on the local February ballot (along with two other issues including Prop 1 for independent investigative powers for the Spokane Police Ombudsman).  The effort for the 2/3 majority ballot title was supported by Mike Fagan (in the picture to the right), freshman city council person, and frequent co-sponsor of Eyman initiatives to reduce state revenue needed for parks, education, environmental protection, and other services from the State of Washington. Because of the number of seats on the Spokane City Council, this would effectively be a five-sevenths (5/7) majority needed to pass new revenue proposals.

Voters will be asked to amend the City Charter by requiring that all tax increases that the council has the power to raise or create receive support from five of the seven members, instead of just four.




Council President Ben Stuckart and Councilwoman Amber Waldref, who oppose the concept, voted in favor of placing it on the ballot" --Spokesman Review, December 18, 2012.

Do readers know of any other cities or counties that have done or are doing similar?

Update: There are a total of three other ballot issues for the February 12 Election in the City of Spokane. The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane recommends a

  • Yes vote on Prop 1 to give the Spokane Police Ombudsman the authority to independent investigate complaints of police conduct.
  • No vote on Prop 2 for the idea of needing a 5/7 majority vote in the Spokane City Council on any revenue increase at the city level. This would making it nearly impossible to adequately fund libraries, firefighting, public safety, and other essential community services.
  • Yes Vote on Prop 3 for Library Levy to prevent closing the Hillyard and East Central branches, to increase library hours at other Libraries, and to continue vital services for low-income families & children.

For more information on Prop 1 to give independent investigative powers to the Spokane Police Ombudsman, please see the article at the Center For Justice website.

Bryan E. Burke
Executive Director
Eastern Washington Voters

< Progressive Voters Guide: For those tough voting decisions | Would you want these folks teaching high school civics classes? >
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